While most cartoon characters are either right-handed or change hands to fit whatever makes the best pose for a particular frame, we have noticed that there seem to be quite a few cartoon characters that are clearly and consistently left-handed.
- Bart Simpson, Ned Flanders and Mr Burns from The Simpsons (and, occasionally, Marge) – The show’s creator, Matt Groening, is himself left-handed.
- Chuckie from Rugrats
- Link – the sword-wielding hero from The Legend of Zelda
- Chris Griffin from Family Guy
- Doug Funnie from Doug
- Arnold from Hey Arnold!
And if we include puppets as well:
- Kermit the Frog from The Muppets
(a creation of the late Jim Henson, also left-handed, as were a lot of the other Muppets)
- Bear in the Big Blue House
We are sure you know many more examples and if you do please add them as a comment to this article below and if you can put a link to a page where there is a picture of them being left-handed that would be great and we will build up our list.
What is it that makes the artist or animator draw a left-handed character? We would be very interested in your thoughts:
Is it because the artist is left-handed?
Are there more left-handed cartoon artists than you would expect from the 10% or so of left-handers in the population?
Is there anything special about animation that makes a left-handed character easier to draw than the right-handed ones?
Is it because when a cartoonist is drawing them he draws their writing hand on the same side as his writing hand (his right, their left)?
Are there deliberate reasons for making some characters left-handed – to seem a bit “quirky” or rebellious (Bart?)
Left-handed puppets are interesting. The Big Blue Bear is left-handed on the show; he seems to do most things with his left hand. This is because the head controls are important and a right-handed puppeteer’s right hand is busy moving the head and mouth and has to do other things with their left hand. In a similar fashion, a lot of The Muppets are left-handed, because their puppeteers are right-handed, so the right hand is almost always used to operate the puppet’s head.
What about left-handed puppeteers? Is it really hard to do as the puppets are designed for right-handed use?
We found this video that gives some explanations:
Talking about Link, the star of the Zelda series, he claims it was “inherited” from his Dad, the game designer who is left-handed himself. However, in later versions of the game Link turned right-handed for far more practical reasons to do with the controller positions on Gamebox, Wii and Nintendo machines.
We would also be interested in links to cartoons about being left-handed. Here is one page we found (though not particularly funny!)
I am sure we can find funnier cartoons than these?
Please post your views on this and any other left-handed characters you can find as comments below.